VALERIE ALEXANDER

  • Interview with Joan Price

    If you wonder what sex is going to be like after you turn 50, never fear; Joan Price has a written a guidebook that can answer every possible question you could have on sex and aging. The Ultimate Guide to Sex After Fifty: How to Maintain – or Regain – a Spicy, Satisfying Sex Life tackles topics like medical challenges, loss of libido, sex toys, friends with benefits, dating, erectile dysfunction, kink, and more.

    That's kind of exciting, given that most sexual resources suggest that sex is only for the young. While people have begun challenging the cultural dialogues that automatically place sex in a heteronormative, monogamous, cisgender framework, the equation that sex = youth is still accepted way too often. Not only is that sex-negative, it's illogical; we're all going to keep getting older and I'm pretty sure most of us want to continue enjoying vibrant sex lives throughout the decades. So The Ultimate Guide to Sex After Fifty is not just a breath of fresh air, but a valuable resource for anyone who intends to have a passionate and adventurous sex life after 50 - and wants to navigate a few age-specific issues along the way.

    Joan was kind enough to answer some of my questions on senior sex and her book.

    VA: Joan, thanks for speaking with me. What are the biggest misconceptions that people have about sex after 50?

    JP: Ah, so many! Society and the media view us as either post-sexual (no longer able or interested) or as laughable and pathetic if we are still interested in sex. Or they don’t see us at all – our age group is all but invisible when it comes to being viewed as sexual beings. Yet – at what age do the people who judge us plan to give up their own sex lives?

    VA: Are there any age-specific benefits of sex after 50? Are people more comfortable with themselves, more in touch with their desires? When someone is done raising children or retiring from their career, does that have a sexually invigorating effect?

    JP: Often, yes. We know ourselves, we know what we want, and we know how to communicate. We know what pleases us sexually and how to express that better than at any other time in our lives. Many of us are having great sex now. However, others of us are blindsided by the physiological changes and feel sexually diminished. To those I say, every problem has some solution. We need to educate ourselves about the changes, what causes them, what we can do to regain the fullest enjoyment possible. Too many people give up when sexual challenges derail them.

    VA: Let’s talk safe sex. Sometimes men of a certain age are afraid they won’t stay hard with a condom on, while others believe that people “their age” won’t have an STI. Other people who are just re-entering the dating market after decades of a monogamous relationship can be uncertain of how to play safe. Does this age group have any special considerations when it comes to sexual health and awareness? Or is it the same for people of all ages?

    JP: This is a huge issue. This age group is at huge risk for STIs precisely because people don’t use barrier protection. You’ll find an entire chapter on safer sex in The Ultimate Guide to Sex after Fifty. As for men who fear not being able to stay hard with a condom, I recommend the female condom, FC2 (aka the “receptive condom”) – the receptive partner wears it vaginally or anally and the penetrating partner does not have to be hard to have intimate contact fully protected. I say more about this in the book.

    VA: What’s your advice for people over 50 who want to explore a new sexual direction? I’ve had older friends who decided they were trans, gay, poly or kinky – and often they’re afraid that door is already shut, that they won’t be welcomed into the community. What’s your guidance on exploring new sexual paths later in life?

    JP: No doors are shut other than those we fear to open. Whatever we want to explore, let’s do that now. If not now, when?

    VA: I have to bring up Hollywood. Our culture’s depiction of female sexuality tends to be a young, nubile woman - we hardly ever see an older woman having a passionate love story on TV or in the movies except in a very safe, conventional way, while older men are portrayed as still virile and adventurous. Do you think this impacts women’s ability to own their sexual agency as they age?

    JP: You can’t see me, but I’m standing up and applauding you. Exactly right on all points. Yes, many of us do internalize our culture’s message that we can’t be sexy if we’re past 50, 60, 70, 80. It does great harm. We can only change that if we stand up and say (and show!) that sexy is for all ages. I hope your readers will join me in doing that!

    VA: Thanks again, Joan!

    For more of Joan's insights, please visit her site along with her award-winning (and awesomely titled) blog, Naked At Our Age.

    And of course, don't forget to check out her book - which has been getting unanimous rave reviews.

    2 Comments

    • 1. Jan 21 2015 4:45PM by Joan Price

      Thank you, Valerie, for opening up this discussion with such insightful questions. I hope this interview helps people question their preconceived notions about sex and aging. And thanks for recommending my book!

    • 2. Jan 21 2015 4:57PM by photuris

      Thanks for the interview!

Email: Vaxder@gmail.com

Twitter: @Vaxder

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